Swans falling prey to predators in Sun City West

SUN CITY WEST, Ariz. (KSAZ) -- They're graceful as they paddle about with their long, curved white necks, and they stand out among all the other waterfowl. Swans add a distinctive touch to little ponds in Sun City West, but their days appear to be numbered.

"They are a great addition, and they seem to dress up the course, and it is a nice touch," said resident Frank DeMeuse.

Problem is years ago, there were about 30 swans with slightly clipped wings, so they would stay in the area and not bother golfers. Sun City West put nesting areas in the water to give the swans a home.

Over time, however, the swans' numbers have dropped to just five or six, as coyotes and bobcats have killed many of them.

"They can fly a little bit. They can get away from predators if they are paying attention, but just like anywhere, predators are predators for a reason, and they are opportunistic animals," said Katy O'Grady with Sun City West Recreation Centers. "And if a swan is not paying attention, a bobcat a coyote can take it."

This is not the kind of thing people like to hear.

"I think they should be protected. I don't know. Coyotes are here. I don't know how we can keep coyotes from eating the swans," said resident Jerry Norman.

"It would be better if they could survive and not be victims of coyotes and whatever else," said DeMeuse.

Sun city west management says it's phasing out swans on the golf course. Too expensive, and not practical to relocate them.

Folks who live here are hopeful the remaining swans can live out their lives in peace.